APIA: MONDAY 04 FEBRUARY 2013: Five villages in Samoa will be better equipped to fight the impacts of climate change, with the help of the United States Government.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP), has partnered with experts at the University of the South Pacific to help the villages of Falealupo, Asau, Manase, Sapapalii and Auala on the island of Savai’i to withstand intense weather events, ecosystem degradation, and rising sea levels.
Additional assistance for villages in Upolu is expected within the next year.
U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa David Huebner met with villagers in Sapapali’i during the weekend and said it was vital to find solutions to problems caused by climate change.
“The Coastal Community Adaptation Project is an important step toward responding to the challenges climate change poses to Samoa and other Pacific Islands,” Ambassador Huebner said.
USAID has set aside approximately USD $14 million to fund the C-CAP program over a three year period for climate change adaptation, risk preparedness and land use planning in 12 countries.
Through C-CAP, USAID will support district and community-level climate change interventions in 12 Pacific Island nations. USAID will help to strengthen community resilience to negative climate change impacts by rehabilitating and constructing new, small-scale community infrastructure, building capacity for community engagement for disaster prevention and preparedness, and integrating climate-resilient policies and practices into long-term land use plans and building standards.
USAID will assist in building local knowledge through community-based training and cultivate capacity for adaptation by helping local leaders factor climate change projections into traditional decision-making processes.